The benevolence of big momma


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Category: Trinidad Politics 04 Mar 07


Can you imagine what kind of mothers we’d be if we decided to bring up our children the way the State manages us, her children? (We can no longer truly say “Government,” since that implies an effective opposition, which is something we haven’t had in years.)


Now that the people are no longer the heart of democracy and our Westminster system has created top-heavy leadership, the State is personified by the benevolent matriarchy of Big Momma.


If all mothers aped the State Momma, here’s how we would bring up our offspring.


Never say “please,” “thank you” or “sorry.” These are very bad words and people will think you are weak if you say them.


Do NOT be courteous to visitors. If they want sun and sand, let them go to the other islands who have to develop service skills, because those unfortunate people don’t have oil.


Don’t ever kill yourself to be disciplined, tidy, or take pride in your city. We love our slummy city. Thank you very much.


If you want it clean, leave. That’s Big Momma’s motto. Throw that plastic bottle and chicken bone out the car window. Be free.


If you have done something wrong, never admit it. If you are caught stealing, lying, cheating, turn very religious and pretend you were not caught.


Head straight to the church, mosque or temple. Got that? Our people don’t fault a praying man.


Remember, the pivot of our lives is our two days of non-stop partying, where you must take off most of your clothes and dance, but you must learn the art of doing what Momma and Dada do in bed, but do it vertically on the street.


This is very important to our culture, and if you don’t do it we will think you are not committed to your family.


Private security


We do have Nobel Prize-winning writers, and have invented the steelpan. We have tremendous wit, complexity, and history in our calypso, but we don’t think music or art should be taught or funded, or that heritage buildings should be preserved.


There is no National Gallery of Art, but Momma organises committees upon committees to bring your NCC party to you. We have no Academy of Music, but Momma’s bringing you a smelter.


There is no Museum of Carnival to celebrate our mas, but Momma’s going to fund a bigger and better “soca chutney wine lime” next year for her babies.


There is no need to read either music (you can sing soca and chutney without being able to read) or books (boring, so colonial).


Momma loves you so much we don’t care what you do in class; we will push you up the system. If you leave unable to read or write, and aren’t interested in learning a trade, don’t worry, Momma will import skilled labour.


Damn it! Momma loves so much we will give you stones to paint and pay you for it.


Momma doesn’t want you to even listen to those foolish people who are crying that there is a murder a day in this country.


Don’t they know that the crime rate is down? So what if they kidnap a couple of people? They deserve it for working hard and showing off with it.


How do you expect her to solve the crime problem? She has no control over her police force, because they have more guns than Momma’s private security and she doesn’t want to be bumped off for clamping down on police lawlessness.


Anyway, Momma is just plain overwhelmed, so leave her alone. She’s frantically busy managing her oil business. As fast as it appears, it has to disappear and it takes effort to do that.


Now, be good children. Do what Momma says, and all will be well.


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All Articles Copyright Ira Mathur